Another important aspect in Burle Marx’s work was the ecological expeditions he did in the heart of Brazilian forests to collect various specimens, creating some sort of “alive mood board” for future projects.
In 1949, he acquired an estate in the outskirts of Rio, where he lived, worked, and cultivated the plants collected from different parts of the country. Together with a team of biologists and gardeners, he discovered more than 50 plant specimens that were named after him.
Over the years, Burle Marx became more and more worried about deforestation and engaged in nature conservation initiatives in Brazil.
In 2021, UNESCO included his estate, Sitio Roberto Burle Marx, on the World Heritage List for its extraordinary modernist architecture and ecological and cultural relevance.